2012 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Classic

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2012 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Classic
2012 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Classic

2012 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Classic
2012 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Classic

2012 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Classic
2012 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Classic

– 2012 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Classic

2012 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Classic Review

Packed with Style, Thrumming with Power

The stunningly beautiful Vulcan® 1700 Classic cruiser evokes that certain feeling in riders: one that beckons you aboard with its gorgeous curves and drop-dead custom styling and says “let’s ride.” It’s beautiful from so many angles – from its raked front end to the fat rear fender complemented by a fat rear tire – exemplifying classic boulevard styling. And the deep paintwork, thick chrome and detail touches will rock your world the first time you lay eyeballs upon it.

But the jewel in the crown is the Classic’s advanced technology and staggering functionality, led by a 103.7-inch V-twin engine that throbs with power. This a big-inch cruiser with the type of top-shelf performance and reliability that totally backs up its bad-ass boulevard look.

Like its Vulcan 1700 brethren, the Classic’s V-twin dominates the proceedings with a thoroughly retro look as well as asphalt-wrinkling output. The heart of the matter is a pair of massive pistons moving within two liquid-cooled but beautifully finned cylinder blocks arrayed at 52 degrees for optimum balance and a distinct V-twin thump. Internal dimensions are thoroughly long-stroke – 102 x 104mm – for mammoth low- and mid-range power, exactly the sort of big-inch thrust and V-twin feel cruiser riders crave.

Working with a powerful ECU and a smart fuel injection system, the electronic throttle valve enhances response without detracting from the engine’s distinctive V-twin feel, delivering ultra-precise intake flow to the engine under nearly any conditions.

The system utilizes an Accelerator Position Sensor (APS) and a Throttle Position Sensor (TPS), which feed data to the ECU that adjusts the throttle plates to tailor intake airflow accordingly. The system offers a natural throttle feel because the APS is activated by a throttle body pulley connected by cables to the throttle grip. The 1700 Classic’s fuel injection uses one sensor in place of the usual three for simplicity and weight savings. Besides the obvious advantages of fuel injection, such as improved fuel economy and automatic altitude mixture adjustment, the system also permits easy hands-off warm-up and idle speed control. This cruising-oriented machine features FI and exhaust tuning optimized to deliver peak torque at a lower rpm – ideal for urban or backroad environments.

A quiet and smooth six-speed transmission features overdriven fifth and sixth gears that contribute to more relaxed riding and better fuel economy at highway speeds. The Vulcan 1700 Classic transfers power from the transmission to the rear wheel through a narrow carbon fiber final drive belt with 40-percent higher tensile strength than a Kevlar unit of the same width.

Designed to be as light and slim as possible, the Classic’s single backbone double cradle frame offers a short seat-to-steering head distance, with a correspondingly short wheelbase. That easy-reach handlebar facilitates slow-speed maneuvering and helps maximize rider confidence. Adding to the light and easy handling are suspension components matched to the Vulcan 1700 Classic’s intended mission. An elegantly simple rear swingarm with twin air-assisted shocks provides 3.1 inches of rear suspension travel, and features air spring preload and four-way rebound adjustment. Up front, a large 43mm fork offers precise steering feedback, a supple ride and 5.5 inches of travel.

The Vulcan 1700 Classic rolls on nine-spoke cast wheels that run fat, tubeless tires – 130/90 front and 170/70 rear – that complement its muscular styling. Dual 300mm front disc brakes featuring twin-piston calipers and a single 300mm rear disc brake with a two-piston caliper help bring this stylish machine to steady, powerful stops.

Packed with technology and blessed with the sort of jaw-dropping looks that’ll keep you the envy of your riding buddies, the Vulcan 1700 Classic is the perfect cruising package. Just try not to drool on it.


2012 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Classic ABS

True Classic Cruiser

The Vulcan 1700 Classic ABS represents the latest evolution of Kawasaki’s big bore V-Twin cruisers. The muscular engine utilises an overhead cam to help boost acceleration, while the long stroke design helps deliver more torque and horsepower.

The Vulcan 1700 Classic is also fitted with Kawasaki’s first fully electronic throttle valve system that provides better performance, throttle response and increased fuel mileage. A six speed transmission with overdrive and carbon fibre drive belt deliver the power to the rear wheel while a compact chassis and tuned suspension provide light handling. It’s all finished off with bodywork and engine covers that further distinguish the Vulcan 1700 Classic ABS as Kawasaki’s latest big bore cruiser.



2012 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Classic Features and Benefits

Key Features

• Liquid-cooled 1,700cc V-twin engine produces massive torque
• Fuel injection system optimized for power in the low
• to mid-rpm range
• Compact frame for easy maneuverability and handling
• Electronic throttle valve system helps produce smooth power
• Adjustable rear suspension
• 9-spoke cast wheels add to the classic V-twin look and feel
• Instrumentation includes digital LCD screen that displays a wealth of information

Powerful 1,700cc V-twin engine

• Liquid cooled, four valves per cylinder, fuel-injected 1,700cc 52-degree V-twin engine
• Long-stroke 102 x 104mm bore and stroke dimensions help deliver massive torque and distinctive V-twin feel
• Valve system uses a single overhead cam arrangement instead of pushrods for quick revability and enhanced mid
• to high-rpm power
• Semi-dry sump allows low crankshaft placement and long stroke without increasing engine height
• Single-pin crank accentuates the engine’s V-twin character by providing strong power pulses
• Large capacity airbox is located on both sides of the engine
• Small-diameter iridium sparkplugs reach deep into the combustion chamber for high combustion efficiency, especially during low-load operation
• Dual staggered mufflers offer a rich sound and stylish appearance
• Engine tuning offers superior acceleration in the 50 to 70 mph range
• Even in overdrive, the engine pulls strongly, facilitating overtaking at highway speed

Fuel Injection

• The Vulcan 1700 takes advantage of FI and exhaust tuning optimized for maximum performance in the low
• to mid-rpm range, giving it plenty of grunt on the boulevard
• Utilizes one sensor in place of the usual three for simplicity and light weight
• Based on the systems used by the Ninja® 650R and Vulcan 900 motorcycles

Electronic Throttle Valve System

• Fully electronic throttle actuation system enables the ECU to control the volume of intake air (via throttle valve angle) and fuel (via fuel injector timing) delivered to the engine
• Optimized fuel injector timing and throttle valve position results in accurate, powerful engine response
• Control of both fuel injection and airflow provides easy starting and precise cold-engine idle speed control
• The ETV works like a standard cable-operated throttle; the throttle grip is connected to cables, so the feel at the grip for the rider is the same
• Twisting the throttle turns a pulley on the throttle body that triggers the Accelerator Position Sensor (APS) to send a signal to the ECU, which then modulates the throttle valves via a DC motor
• Accurate throttle position is relayed to the ECU by a Throttle Position Sensor (TPS)
• APS and TPS send two sets of signals to the ECU for system redundancy in the unlikely event of a sensor failure

On Board Diagnostics

• Diagnostic system allows self testing of the electronic systems on the Vulcan 1700
• Displays codes on the instrumentation that can be read by owner from the accessory manual

Six-speed Transmission / Final Drive

• 5th and 6th gear are overdrive ratios, contributing to stress-free riding and better fuel economy when cruising at highway speeds
• 28mm carbon fiber final drive belt offers a 40 percent increase in tensile strength compared to current Kevlar belts. This allows the Vulcan 1700 to use a belt only 2mm wider than the Kevlar belt on the Vulcan 900
• Belt drive system is quiet, efficient and offers reduced maintenance compared to a chain

Light Handling Chassis

• Compact frame features a shorter wheelbase and short distance between the seat and steering head for an ideal ergonomic layout and easy maneuverability
• Light and as slim as possible, the frame minimizes the number of forged parts and trims any unnecessary metal. The only forged parts are areas that require additional strength – the down-tube joint, engine brackets, side-stand bracket, and rear fender/shock absorber bracket
• The compact design contributes to light handling and facilitates maneuverability at low speeds, especially when executing precise slow-speed maneuvers like parking or making U-turns

43mm Telescopic Fork

• Provides superb steering feedback
• 5.5 inches of travel for excellent ride quality

Dual Adjustable Rear Air Shocks

• Air-adjustable spring preload can be tuned to match varying rider and passenger loads
• 4-way rebound damping adjustments help the shocks compensate for changes in spring pressure
• Chromed shock covers contribute to the bike’s luxurious finish

9-Spoke Cast Wheels

• Allow the use of tubeless tires and complement the Vulcan 1700’s muscular styling
• 130/90 front and 170/70 rear tires
• Tire choice and suspension settings selected to augment the chassis’ light handling characteristics


• Dual 300mm front and a single 300mm rear disc are squeezed by twin-piston calipers. This braking system is tuned to provide sure, powerful stops

Classic V-twin Appeal

• The line created by the top of the airbox and the cylinder heads forms a curved shape that continues to flow through the bike
• Deeply chromed engine covers have curved upper surfaces. Their three-dimensional form adds volume and gives a high quality appearance
• The edges of the cooling fins receive a special NC treatment that makes them gleam in sunlight
• All the non-chromed engine parts have a matte black finish that further accentuates the gleaming chrome


• The fuel tank’s hand-sculpted contours employ a constantly varying radius, giving the bike a dynamic flowing style that’s pleasing both to the eye and the touch
• The elegantly shaped fuel tank contributes to the Vulcan 1700’s curvaceous figure
• LED taillight looks elegant and provides years of trouble-free service


• Ignition switch allows on-position key removal, preventing keys from scratching the instrument cluster or tank while the bike is in operation
• Turning the ignition switch collar to the “OFF” position turns the engine off and necessitates re-insertion of the key to restart
• Multi-function LCD displays on the tank-mounted instrument cluster are controlled by switches on the right handlebar. Features include a gear-position indicator, fuel gauge, clock, odometer, dual trip meters, remaining mileage range and average fuel consumption
• Liberal use of chrome on the engine, fender brackets, light stays, and rear shock covers contrast nicely with the bodywork’s deep, lustrous paint
• The sculpted shape of the seat complements the rich visual tone of the bodywork


2012 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Classic – USA Specifications/Technical Details
US MSRP Price:
$11,499 USD

Engine Four-stroke, liquid-cooled, SOHC, four valves per cylinder, 52-degree V-twin

Displacement 1,700cc / 103.7ci

Bore x Stroke 102 x 104mm

Compression ratio 9.5:1

Maximum Torque 108 lb-ft @ 2250

Cooling System Liquid, plus cooling fins

Induction Digital fuel injection, dual 42mm throttle bodies

Ignition TCBI with Digital Advance

Transmission Six-speed with overdrive and positive neutral finder

Frame Type Steel, double-cradle with box-section single-tube backbone

Rake/Trail 30° / 6.7 in.

Front Suspension / wheel travel 43mm hydraulic fork / 5.5 in.

Rear Suspension / wheel travel Swingarm with twin air-assisted shocks, with 4-way rebound damping / 3.1 in.

Front Tire Size 130/90×16

Rear Tire Size 170/70×16

Brakes, front / rear Dual 300 mm discs, dual twin-piston calipers / Single 300 mm disc, twin-piston caliper

Overall length 98.4 in.

Overall width 40.4 in.

Overall height 45.5 in.

Ground clearance 5.1 in.

Seat height 28.3 in.

Wheelbase 65.6 in.

Curb weight 761 lbs.**

Fuel capacity 5.3 gal.

Color Choices Ebony

Warranty 12 months

Good Times™ Protection Plan 12, 24, 36 or 48 months

** Curb weight includes all necessary materials and fluids to operate correctly, full tank of fuel (more than 90-percent capacity) and tool kit (if supplied).


2012 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Classic – Canadian Specifications/Technical Details
Canada MSRP Price:
See Canadian Kawasaki Dealer for pricing.

Type 4-stroke, V-Twin
Displacement 1,700 cc
Bore and Stroke 102.0 x 104.0 mm
Cooling Liquid, plus cooling fins
Compression Ratio 9.5:1
Valve System SOHC, 4 valves per cylinder
Fuel System Digital fuel injection with dual 42 mm throttle bodies
Ignition TCBI with digital advance
Lubrication Forced lubrication (semi-dry sump)


Transmission 6-speed with overdrive
Final Drive Carbon fiber belt
Primary Reduction Ratio 1.515 (50/33)
Gear Ratio: 1st 2.933 (44/15)
Gear Ratio: 2nd 1.900 (38/20)
Gear Ratio: 3rd 1.407 (38/27)
Gear Ratio: 4th 1.143 (32/28)
Gear Ratio: 5th 0.967 (29/30)
Gear Ratio: 6th 0.806 (29/36)
Final Reduction Ratio 2.250 (72/32)
Clutch Wet multi-disc, manual


Type Double-cradle, high-tensile steel
Wheel Travel: Front 140 mm (5.5 in.)
Tire: Front 130/90-B16
Wheel Travel: Rear 80 mm (3.1 in.)
Tire: Rear 170/70-B16
Caster (Rake) 30º
Trail 169 mm (6.7 in.)
Steering Angle (Left/Right) 35º / 35º


Suspension, Front 43 mm hydraulic telescopic fork
Suspension, Rear Swingarm with twin air-assisted shocks with 4-way rebound damping


Front: Type Dual 300 mm discs
Front: Caliper Dual 4-piston caliper
Rear: Type Single 300 mm disc
Rear: Caliper Twin-piston caliper


Overall Length 2,500 mm (98.4 in.)
Overall Width 1,025 mm (40.4 in.)
Overall Height 1,155 mm (45.5 in.)
Wheelbase 1,665 mm (65.6 in.)
Ground Clearance 130 mm (5.1 in.)
Seat Height 720 mm (28.3 in.)
Curb Mass** 345 kg (760.6 lbs.)
Fuel Capacity 20 litres (4.4 gal.)
Fuel Consumption 6.2 L/100 km (46 MPG)
** Includes all necessary materials and fluids to operate correctly, full tank of fuel (more than 90% of capacity) and tool kit (if supplied)


Maximum Power‡ 55 kW {74.8 PS} @ 5,000 rpm
Maximum Torque‡ 135 N·m {13.8 kgƒ·m} @ 2,750 rpm
‡ Power / Torque figures measured at the crankshaft.


Colour Ebony
Warranty 12 months warranty


Good Times Protection Plan 24 or 36 months (Kawasaki GTPP coverage begins after the standard limited warranty expires)

* The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price does not include freight, pre-delivery inspection or applicable taxes. The final price is at the discretion of the dealer. Prices and Specifications are subject to change without prior notice.

The specifications mentioned here apply to and have been achieved by production models under standard operating conditions. We intend only to give a fair description of the vehicle and its performance capabilities but these specifications may not apply to every machine supplied for sale. Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. reserves the right to alter specifications without prior notice. Equipment illustrated and specifications may vary to meet individual markets. Available colours may vary by market.



2012 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Classic – UK/European Specifications/Technical Details
Not available

Not available



2012 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Classic ABS – Australian Specifications/Technical Details
Australia MSRP Price:
Not available


Type Liquid-cooled, 4-stroke V-Twin
Displacement 1,700 cm³
Bore and Stroke 102.0 x 104.0 mm
Compression ratio 9.5:1
Valve system SOHC, 8 valves
Fuel system Fuel Injection: Ø 42 mm x 2
Ignition Digital
Starting Electric
Lubrication Forced lubrication, semi-dry sump

Transmission 6-speed, return
Final drive Belt
Primary reduction ratio 1.515 (50/33)
Gear ratios: 1st 3.077 (40/13)
2nd 1.900 (38/20)
3rd 1.407 (38/27)
4th 1.143 (32/28)
5th 0.967 (29/30)
6th 0.806 (29/36)
Final reduction ratio 2.250 (72/32)
Clutch Wet multi-disc, manual

Type Double-cradle, high-tensile steel
Wheel travel: front 140 mm
rear 80 mm
Tyre: front 130/90B16M/C (67H)
rear 170/70B16M/C (75H)
Caster (rake) 30°
Trail 169 mm
Steering angle (left/right) 35° / 35°

Front: Type 43 mm hydraulic telescopic fork
Rear: Type Swingarm with twin air assisted shocks
Rebound damping 4-way

Front: Type Dual 300 mm discs
Caliper 4-piston with K-ACT II ABS
Rear: Type Single 300 mm disc
Caliper Twin-piston with K-ACT II ABS

Overall length 2,500 mm
Overall width 1,025 mm
Overall height 1,155 mm
Wheelbase 1,665mm
Ground clearance 130 mm
Seat height 720 mm
Curb mass 349 kg Includes full fuel tank
Fuel capacity 20 litres

Maximum power 55kW { 74 PS}/ 5,000 rpm
Maximum torque 135 N·m { 13.7 kgf·m} / 2,750 rpm

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